Excellent Schools Through Local Control              

In Support of Separation - One Santa Monican's Perspective

As a Santa Monica College professor teaching American politics and democratic theory I am keenly aware of a deep seeded American commitment to local community values and representative government.  And, I think that it is fair to say that I don’t just teach American values, I also live and practice them each and every day.  As the proud Co-Chair of Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights, I have the good fortune of working side-by-side with my neighbors, for the protection of our neighborhoods, our shared green spaces, and our local schools.  You might have guessed that the latter, Education, is of great importance to me.  My wife, Jennifer, and I chose to live in Santa Monica – we chose to raise our two children here in great measure for the public schools.  I suspect that our Malibu friends and neighbors made similar choices.

As the Vice President of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District’s, District PTA, I have learned that while both communities are committed to excellent public schools, there are differences in how we see the operation of the District.

Therefore, I believe strongly that if the citizens of Malibu truly want to separate from the District and that we can ensure the children in both communities are not harmed, then we should move forward, together, Santa Monica and Malibu. 

Separation should be done in a timely manner once it is clear that a majority of the citizens of Malibu desire separation. This does not mean that I think this will be easy or simple. In fact, I don’t know anyone who thinks separation won’t have its challenges. But I know that together we can do what is right for both communities.  Together we will move forward and uphold teaching excellence and our contractual commitments to our teachers and education workers, and ensure that there is no loss of quality education for our children.  We will also need to ensure an equitable distribution of infrastructure and liabilities.

Together we can get this done. I am an advocate for separation, an advocate for Malibu kids.

By Richard Tahvildaran-Jesswein 
AMPS Advisory Board Member

AMPS PAC Endorses School Board Candidates

Advocates for Malibu Public Schools (AMPS) PAC has endorsed Craig Foster, Laurie Lieberman, Richard Tahvildaran-Jesswein and Oscar De La Torre, as candidates for the Board of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District.

The AMPS board submitted detailed questions to all candidates regarding their vision for the entire district as well as the unique concerns of the Malibu community. The endorsements reflect a majority of the AMPS board of directors. AMPS has posted the responses of all the candidates in the link below.  

AMPS intends to work through its AMPS PAC to assist in electing the four candidates it has endorsed.

Click here to read Candidates' Questionnaires

Malibu Association of Realtors Endorses AMPS

The Malibu Association of Realtors voted to officially endorse Advocates for Malibu Public Schools (AMPS), and its continuing efforts for separation, and for an independently and locally controlled Malibu Unified School District. 

Malibu Schools Leadership Council Formed

A new coalition of parent leaders and heads of Malibu education organizations have joined forces in an effort to advance Malibu students’ and parents’ interests. The Malibu Schools Leadership Council (MSLC) was created to share and exchange information and promote a stronger, more unified voice in the broader educational community.

MSLC includes the PTA/PTSA Presidents of each of the Malibu schools including, Co-Presidents of Webster Elementary PTA, Lori Keeffe and Soniya Perl; Juan Cabrillo Elementary PTA President, Desi Bradley; Point Dume Marine Science School PTA President, Roui Israel; PTSA President of Malibu High and Malibu Middle School, Karen Farrer; Director of Malibu’s Boys and Girls Club, Kasey Earnest; Chairman of the Malibu High School Shark Fund, Doug Masterson; and the President of Advocates for Malibu Public Schools (AMPS), Craig Foster. Also pictured: Superintendent’s Advisory Committee Liaison Kristina Kell, and Boys & Girls Club Programs Director Siugen Constanza.


The Malibu School Leadership Council (MSLC) was formed to bring the Malibu school community together in order to share and exchange information, connect with the broader education community, and build leadership skills as advocates for all children and families.

 Learning Wisdom Video

Let's Use Video to Reinvent Education
March 2013, by Salman Khan, Ted Talks

Salman Khan talks about how and why he created the remarkable Khan Academy, a carefully structured series of educational videos offering complete curricula in math and, now, other subjects. He shows the power of interactive exercises and calls for teachers to consider flipping the traditional classroom script -- give students video lectures to watch at home and do "homework" in the classroom with the teacher available to help.

Watch video here

 Local Education News 

Santa Monica Coming Around on School District Separation
October 6, 2014, by Emily Sawicki, Malibu Times
Read more here

Santa Monica Resident Voices Support for AMPS
September 22, 2014 By Chris Bashaw, Malibu Surfside News
Read more here

AMPS Hosts Booth at Malibu Chili Cook-Off
September 11, 2014, By Malibu Times Editorial, Malibu Times
Read more here

 School for Thought 

A Global Model for STEM Education
October 8, 2014, By Vince Bertram, Huffington Post Education
Read more here

What the best education systems are doing right
September 4, 2014, by Amy Choi, Ted Ideas 
Read more here

A Bold Battle Cry for Teachers: 'I Teach Students, Not Subjects'
October 9, 2014, by M. Shannon Hernandez, Huffington Post Education
Read more here

Needed: AMPS Volunteers & Ambassadors 

Would you like to get more involved in AMPS?
Then, please sign up here.

AMPS Malibu

Pupil Free Day: No School
Wednesday, Oct. 29th

Veteran's Day: No School
Tuesday, Nov. 11th

Malibu MS Halloween Dance
Friday, Oct. 24th @ 6:00-8:00 pm

Halloween Parades
Juan Cabrillo
Friday, Oct. 31st @ 8:30 am

Friday, Oct. 31st @ 12:45 pm

Pt. Dume
Friday, Oct. 31st @ 10:00 am

Malibu High School
Fall Fundraiser

Saturday, Nov. 8th @ 6:00 pm
Malibu Jewish Center

Buy tickets here

Pt. Dume Family Festival
Saturday, Nov. 15th
12:00-4:00 pm

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Please join AMPS in the goal of forming a locally controlled Malibu Unified School District.

To become a member click here.

Contact Us:



Advocates for Malibu Public Schools (AMPS)
23805 Stuart Ranch Rd., Suite #105
Malibu, CA 90265

(310) 734-2021

[email protected]